There was something in the air for the 2019 Brooklyn Half. Despite higher temps than many of us might like for such a long race, our squad saw some tremendous performances.
Oh, and we won. For the third time this year, in as many points races. We are absolutely dominating the masters roads for 2019, which, I don’t think I need to point out, is a really big deal. To quote the great Tony Ruiz, “You guys are on Fiyah!”
The M40 team was led by Nick Thompson, who at 43 ran a personal best of 1:11:59. That’s a 5:30 pace overall, good for 85% AG and first place male over 40. His closest rival was more than four minutes behind.
“The start was crazy!” Nick said of his race. “There was barely an inch to stretch much less warm up, so I took the race out somewhat conservatively. By Prospect Park, though, I realized I was fine running 5:30s and then, on Ocean, I realized, much to my surprise, that I was fine running 5:20s. It was a good day, a good course, and I must have had very good luck.”
We, of course, know that luck has very little to do with it. Breaking 80 is notoriously difficult in the half marathon for a 43-year-old — thanks a lot, Meb and Bernard — but Nick’s been training hard, and has the results to show for it. He ran 2:34 in Boston just a month prior.
Scoring 2nd for the CPTC master’s team was Jay Sullivan, 41, who also ran a PR, in 1:17:15 (78% AG), a full 50 seconds faster than his previous best. Jay said that Brooklyn was his goal race for the spring, and he went into it with a clear plan: stay in the high 5:50s through Prospect Park, and then try to bring it down. That’s exactly what he did, despite some early fatigue in his legs.
“My legs felt decent but not great through the park, but I managed to come through the first six miles under 36 minutes, so right on pace,” he said. “After exiting the park I planned to run the next six miles at 35 minutes or faster. The sun was a lot stronger than I was used to and the miles on Ocean Parkway were a struggle.” Still, he managed to keep his pace in the high 5:40s to low 5:50s. “I was very diligent about hydrating every mile and dumping water on my head. I knew if I could hold out until double-digit miles (10) I could hit my goal. It’s all willpower at that point,” he said.
Jay said his new target is sub-1:17, and he’s confident he can get there with the help of his training partners. “So much of my growth and success as a runner has come because of the CPTC team and the morning crew in Central Park in particular,” he said. “What a great group of runners. I am particularly happy about my impact on scoring for the team. As a collegiate athlete it’s awesome to be improving personally but also helping the team have success as well!”
Rounding out our top three was Eduardo Ribiero Ferreira, 44, just seconds behind Jay, in 1:17:20 (80% AG).
Eduardo said he’s happy with his result and very glad to have contributed to the team’s win, though he was just a bit disappointed not to best his PR from nine years ago — he was about a minute off. But he’s not discouraged: “I feel that If I continue to train the way I have been training with the group, maintain discipline, and be careful not to overtrain, I am hoping to be stronger, faster, and continue to contribute to our team,” he said. “And who knows, maybe a PR at the NYC Marathon this fall.” (Eduardo ran 2:40 in 2011.) He added: “My heartfelt thanks to some of our teammates who were along the course supporting us.”
The intrepid Brenn Jones (1:26) reported that he yo-yo’d with teammates Ken Tso and David Dorsey for a good bit of the race, but in the end they had just a little more in the tank. “Ken drifted away using a secret stash of energy, and David, tall, lean, and upright, looked every bit the track star ready to unleash a kick,” Brenn said. “I made a last effort to pull beside him, but at the 800 meter sign he got into a gear I couldn’t match.”
There was a silver lining, though: “In the effort to catch these teammates I was able to reel in a number of non CPTC runners.”
That’s gotta count for something, right?
So, the M40 standings for 2019:
CPTC: 45 points
Dashing Whippets: 30 points
West Side: 24 points
Next up, Queens!